Sights, sounds and food from many countries fill Victoria Row

Maureen Coulter comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on June 29, 2014

Live music filled the streets in downtown Charlottetown Sunday as several thousand people of many cultural backgrounds took in the festivities at the DiverseCity Multicultural Festival on Victoria Row.

This is the eighth year the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada has put on the event and each year it seems to gain in popularity, said Craig Mackie, executive director of the association.

“In last five years, we have had 6,000 newcomers register with us from more than a 100 different countries around the world.”

A multicultural blast of dozens upon dozens of tables with food, clothing, jewelry, educational material from cultural organizations along with games from different parts of the world lined the street.

“It’s an opportunity for Islanders to see how many different people have chosen to move here to make P.E.I. their home,” said Mackie.

Margaret Eriavbe is one of those people who decided to make P.E.I. her home after moving from Nigeria a year and a half ago.

“The people are nice. It’s a nice place to be,” she said.

Eriavbe is the CEO of truly African designs and promotes local artisans from African countries.

“We actually try to promote the jewelry which are locally and hand made as well as the clothing.”

Eriavbe sells the jewelry at the Confederation Court Mall Thursday and Friday at the market. It was Eriavbe’s first time at the DiverseCity festival and she said she thinks the event is awesome.

Amanda Moses, originally from Nova Scotia who moved to Charlottetown 11 years ago, took in the festivities on the hot and sunny day downtown.

This was Moses’ second year coming to the event and she thinks the DiverseCity Multicultural Festival is a great idea.

“I really enjoy this. I just had the most delicious food.”

With a bubble tea in hand, Moses enjoyed the music while sitting on the Province House steps with a clear view of the stage.

“It looks like they put a lot of thought into this. Everyone is getting out and trying new things and you can see what’s out there on P.E.I. for different groups of people.”

At the festival, Mackie encourages people to meet someone from a different country and find out a little bit about their story.

“When you move to Canada or P.E.I. you bring with you some real rich cultural heritage.”

“That’s really what it is about is an opportunity to share.”

There are two more dates for the DiverseCity Multicultural Festivals in Montague on July 12 and Summerside July 19.